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Dent and Flint maize diversity panels reveal important genetic potential for increasing biomass production

AuthorsRincent, Renaud; Revilla Temiño, Pedro ; Malvar Pintos, Rosa Ana ; Charcosset, Alain
Issue DateOct-2014
CitationTheoretical and applied genetics 127 (11): 2313- 2331 (2014)
AbstractThe high whole plant biomass productivity of maize makes it a potential source of energy in animal feeding and biofuel production. The variability and the genetic determinism of traits related to biomass are poorly known. We analyzed two highly diverse panels of Dent and Flint lines representing complementary heterotic groups for Northern Europe. They were genotyped with the 50 k SNP-array and phenotyped as hybrids (crossed to a tester of the complementary pool) in a western European field trial network for traits related to flowering time, plant height, and biomass. The molecular information revealed to be a powerful tool for discovering different levels of structure and relatedness in both panels. This study revealed important variation and potential genetic progress for biomass production, even at constant precocity. Association mapping was run by combining genotypes and phenotypes in a mixed model with a random polygenic effect. This permitted the detection of significant associations, confirming height and flowering time quantitative trait loci (QTL) found in literature. Biomass yield QTL were detected in both panels but were unstable across the environments. Alternative kinship estimator only based on markers unlinked to the tested SNP increased the number of significant associations by around 40 % with a satisfying control of the false positive rate. This study gave insights into the variability and the genetic architectures of biomass-related traits in Flint and Dent lines and suggests important potential of these two pools for breeding high biomass yielding hybrid varieties.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-014-2379-7
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